Welcome to the KITES I website!! We are a preschool disabled, behaviorally based classroom. Our students have challenges with communication and socialization skills so we do a lot to help facilitate the development of these skills. Many of the things that typically developing children learn through the natural environment by listening, observing and then imitating are the things that our students actually need to be taught. So we do social skills lessons (how to behave appropriately in various social situations), play therapy (how to play appropriately with toys, how to pretend play and how to interact with peers) and applied behavior analysis (breaking skills down into small steps) for their academics. We help with their language development by using short statements, gesturing to what we are talking about and using picture cues to help them understand. We also do some prompting for our students that need a little more help doing things. We fade these prompts as they develop the skills more independently. Our students also have some issues with sensory processing so we incorporate various sensory activities into our day to help their sensory integration.
Although we do differ from a typical preschool class in many ways, we are also the same in many ways. Our students are just as energetic and love doing fun things just like any other child their age!
Mrs. Zichelli's Background information:
- Montclair State University- B.A. in psychology
- William Paterson University- post B.A. special education teacher certification program- obtained N.J. Teacher of the Handicapped Certification (K-12)
- Concordia University- M.Ed. with a concentration in early childhood curriculum and instruction
- Worked two years in a private school for students with autism in a preschool classroom
- This will be my sixth year teaching in Lincoln Park in the KITES I classroom